Pro-government demonstrations in northern Tehran begin on Wednesday.
They are expected to last several hours and condemn “recent riots and the crimes of seditionists”.
Counter-demonstrations formed after death of Mahsa Amini, 22, in police custody on September 16.
Another round of counter-demonstrations in support of the Iranian state have been organised as the protests that erupted following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody on September 16 enter their third week.
Pro-government protests in northern Tehran began early Wednesday afternoon and are expected to last several hours. They were announced via state media and mass text messages, just like the previous rounds, and were expected to condemn “recent riots and seditionist crimes.”
Wednesday marked the 19th day of protests, during which dozens have been killed and many have been arrested. The government has not released an official tally.
According to Ali Salehi, the capital’s attorney general, 400 people arrested in “riots” in Tehran have been released so far after promising never to repeat their actions.
On the same day, a senior lawmaker briefed by intelligence officials stated that an unknown number of “riot leaders” will remain imprisoned.
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With the start of the school year, videos of schoolchildren and teenagers removing their hijabs and chanting slogans have gone viral on social media.
On Wednesday, Ali Fadavi, the second-highest commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), stated that the “average age of many of the recently arrested is 15 years” and that many of them had become “victims” of a narrative promoted on social media and by foreign-based outlets.
Meanwhile, the death of a teenage girl who participated in the Tehran protests has been widely publicised on social media. Nika Shakarami went missing for 10 days just before her 17th birthday before her body was discovered in a morgue in Tehran. She was said to have suffered severe head trauma.
Authorities have launched an investigation into her death, but they have rejected allegations that she was beaten by security forces.
According to state-affiliated media, Shakarami’s body was discovered in the courtyard of a home after falling from the roof of a neighbouring house, and eight people who were in the area at the time have been arrested.
So far, university students have played a prominent role in the protests on campuses across the country. Earlier this week, riot police surrounded Tehran’s prestigious Sharif University of Technology and arrested an unknown number of people. Since then, officials have stated that “most” of the students have been released.
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